We’re Not Putting Up a Christmas Tree

Our family is not putting up a tree this year and no one’s sad about it. We’ve not put up the first decoration. How many of you are rolling your eyes right now?

It’s funny because I’ve actually been looking forward to Christmas, for several reasons.

  1. JP will be home with me all of Christmas Day for the first time in six years.
  2. Neither kid believes in Santa and they’ve had fun helping out with gifts for each other.
  3. Our church had a Christmas play this year and the spirit was so sweet each night. Sometimes I feel like I could live in that sanctuary.

Believe it or not, I’ve even been listening to Christmas music in the car! Crazy, I know!

So why no tree?

There’s really no dramatic explanation. We stay on the road and in the car so much, we feel like we’re barely home. Between work, church obligations and her heart not functioning at 100%, mom stays pretty tired. I have allergies and anything that’s been in the attic causes me to break out in hives, so the tree is always a source of angst for me. Dad works more than full time, mostly out of town. When it came time to “get down the tree,” we all just sorta made a face. None of us have the energy for it.

And then I thought, who says we have to decorate? Is it impossible to celebrate Christmas unless you’re sitting in tinsel. Is it necessary to tape a box of old Christmas cards to your mantle?

I mentioned this to someone the other day and their response was, “aww, that’s sad for the boys.” And while I understand what they meant, is it really sad? Our number one goal is to make sure JP and Preston feel loved and have memorable experiences. We take them places. We travel. As we speak, Jp is getting dressed and ready to go see the Christmas tree on Main Street. We’re going to see Christmas lights and ride the carriage downtown. We walk thru Falls Park and drink Starbucks hot chocolate.  We rent movies and play games. Next week, the boys are building gingerbread houses and baking cookies with their cousins.   We cook an obscene amount of food and get together with extended family.

No one’s sad. In fact, the boys haven’t even brought it up.

The more I think about Christmas, the more convinced I am that we put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to all the hype. I’m done with that. I’m tired of racking my brain and spending senseless money on decorations and gifts just so I can check an item off my To-Do List. It is so refreshing to escape the commercialism of the season and get back to the real meaning of Christmas. Happy Birthday, Jesus. 

We’re not putting up a tree this year. But ya know what?

It’s December 17 and already one of the best Christmases in years!

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